Policy:
JoT re Doug re "Minimum Wage"

In fact, I took care not to advocate that any given politician campaign for universal healthcare. Forced to choose between advocating a higher minimum wage and advocating federal health insurance, a prudent politician would advocate the higher minimum wage. If the rant had been which policy's to advocate, it would have been filed under Politics, not Policy.

I restricted my rant to pointing out that universal healthcare would be the more beneficial policy. It's ironic that we favor the less beneficial policy over the more beneficial policy, and irony gets my attention.

While we're on the topic of the minimum wage and my concerns about it, let me clarify that I'm not a cheap-labor Republican or a Libertarian. Like them, I trust the market to get most things right. Unlike them, I recognize the value of a strong minimum wage. Without regulation or unionization, the dynamics of wage-negotiation are in the favor of the employer, especially for lower-skilled jobs for which there are more applicants than jobs. The minimum wage makes wage-negotiation more balanced by backing the worker. Balanced negotiations lead to more equitable settlements, and that's good for the economy.

—JoT
October 2004

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